ICSD Members Hope for Integrity at Extraordinary Congress

As preparations are made for the ICSD Extraordinary Congress in Lausanne Switzerland, delegates are still uncertain about the integrity of governance.

Ever since the resignation of ICSD President Kang in 2020, the Deaflympic movement has seen the leadership plunge into confusion and uncertainty. It is hoped that at the end of this month (November 28-29th) actions will be made to stabilise the organisation. If this is not done, many are fearful for its future.

Hotel Alpha Palmiers, Lausanne, Switzerland. venue of the ICSD Extraordinary Congress at the end of November 2021

The governing board of ICSD has split into two camps with both claiming to be in control, both sending out conflicting bulletins and counterclaims leaving members uncertain about who is in charge.

There are mixed messages coming from Brazil, the host nation of the next Summer Deaflympic games – delegates in Congress will be asking which organising committee is viable and it is expected that they will then vote to decide which city will host the games, Rio de Janeiro or Caxias do Sol.

The finances of ICSD have not been agreed by congress since 2013 and somehow the extraordinary meeting will try to approve a financial report covering the 2013 -2019 period.

If that was not enough, the agenda also includes the long awaited ICSD Reform document. The aim of this work was to create a new IDC – International Deaflympic Committee to be recognised as similar in function to the IOC and IPC with each nation having its own National Deaflympic Committee. This work was started in 2008 and observers are concerned that this has taken too long to get ratified that it may be an irrelevance in the current situation.

Whilst these are the main points of concern, the leadership dispute between the group of regional representatives and the CEO versus the remainder of the board has produced TWO alternative agendas with both sides claiming legitimacy and control over congress procedures. An option open to Congress is the election of new leaders.

Congress will also listen to evidence about the legal standing of CEO Rebrov, who has isolated the opposing board members by removing access to their ciss.org emails and office servers. These board members are insisting that Rebrov has been removed from his post and has no legal standing in the organisation.

Because of Covid regulations and restrictions delegates will either be attending in person or on-line via the internet. It is expected that two neutral scrutineers will be appointed to take control of proceedings and ensure integrity.

Onlookers are concerned that the situation is being observed by officials at the IOC and its membership of the Olympic movement is at risk. However, there are several other International Federations in mainstream sport that are also facing governance challenges of corruption, insubordination, abdication, and dereliction of duty etc. The IOC policy is not to get involved with internal conflicts and encourages the federations to resolve their own problems.

The question being asked is:  Will a two- or three-day meeting be enough to get things in order?

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